Friday, June 30, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,311 miles down and 488 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging five more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,311 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 488 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 72.9 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s overall journey to destroy the One Ring at Mount Doom in Mordor, I’m on the first day of the trip past Rauros Falls, which is Feb. 26 on the Middle Earth. I left off my last update on 1306, which was three miles from the point where Aragorn led Frodo’s group, the Fellowship of the Ring, toward the west bank of the river.


Three miles later, at Mile 1309, the group reached one of the most significant milestones of the entire trip, the lawn of Parth Galen below Amon Hen, and the group decides to camp there. The next day (Feb. 26), the Fellowship breaks apart, which is how the first book of the trilogy, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” ends. At this point, Frodo (and me) have traveled a total of 1,309 miles from Bag End to Rauros Falls.


Thus begins the final leg of my “Walk to Mordor,” which consists of the journey of Frodo and Sam the final 488 miles from Rauros Falls to Mount Doom. It’s around noon on Feb. 26 when the “Breaking of the Fellowship” occurs and Frodo decides to carry the Ring to Mordor alone. However, his good friend, Samwise “Sam” Gamgee, guesses what Frodo is up to and reaches the lake as Frodo sets out on his own. Ultimately, they go together.


About one-quarter mile later, they paddle past the south end of Tol Brandir and a quarter-mile past that they reach the shelving shore on the south slopes of Amon Lhaw, where they hide their boat. Half a mile later, they head southeast into the “strange twisted knot of hills” in eastern Emyn Muil.


From there, I’ve gone one additional mile to Mile 1311, where Frodo and Sam reach the south edge of the hills, a “sheer, high, impassible cliff overlooking the marshland of Nindalf, the “Wetwang,” which lies east of the Anduin River, all along the delta of the Entwash.


The next significant milestone, Mile 1312, comes one mile later, where Frodo and Sam turn north away from the cliff.


For those of you reading this for the first time, I began this “Walk to Mordor” fitness challenge on Jan. 1, 2015. Using a book called “The Atlas of Middle-Earth” by Karen Wynn Fonstad, fans of “The Lord of the Rings” created this challenge by mapping out Frodo’s fictional trek to Mordor, calculating the total distance at 1,799 miles. They also used the original "Lord of the Rings" text to outline the journey, so you can follow their route by keeping up with your total mileage.


The folks who worked out the nuts and bolts of this virtual journey have divided it into four parts. It’s 458 miles from Hobbiton to Rivendell, 462 miles from Rivendell through Moria to Lothlorien, 389 miles from Lothlorien down the Anduin to Rauros Falls and 470 miles from Rauros to Mount Doom. (Those locations should sound very familiar to “Lord of the Rings” fans.) The hobbits averaged 18 miles a day, but if you walk (or jog, as I sometimes do) five miles a day, it’s possible to cover 1,799 miles in a year.


If you’re interested in learning more about the “Walk to Mordor Challenge,” I suggest you check out two Web sites, and Both of these sites provide a ton of details about the challenge, including how to get started.


In the end, check back next Friday for another update and to see how much closer I am to Mordor. I hope to knock out at least 10 more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.

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